You know when you’re hunting a mammoth and a dragon decides to land on you? It’s not fun.
You know when you’re hunting a mammoth and a dragon decides to land on you? It’s not fun.
The simple answer is I just like wearing ugly PJs while I play video games.
The complicated answer is a little more in depth than that.
Views: Having a large audience is crucial to a streamer’s success. Just to even be considered to become a partner of Twitch, you need to have a audience in the triple digits range (without assistance from being hosted) and you need to have a full time schedule of streaming 3-4 times a week with those steady numbers. Another alternative is having a YouTube channel with more than 100K subscribers.
Depending on the game and what day I stream, my viewership can range from 10-25 people in the audience. My largest spike was about 66 while I was playing Dark Souls 3 for the first time. I will never forget that boss fight, nor will I forget the exchanges that happened in chat. I digress. I will write more about that later. For a small time streamer, those numbers aren’t bad at all. I like testing the waters to see which games garner larger audiences and which ones bring in new viewers vs. regulars.
And I fully believe that using a facecam will help boost these numbers. More on that later.
The community: I acknowledge that I am by no means a big time streamer. And I also acknowledge that there are a crapton of streamers out there that no one else knows either. I like finding those people, and if I enjoy their streams, I try to support them as well. I also study and observe a variety of streamers who use a facecam and who do not use a facecam. I try to learn what works for them and what doesn’t. I make notes starting from the title of the stream being used to how they interact with chat to whether or not a facecam is even beneficial for them. Of course, some streamers don’t need any help at all when it comes to marketing themselves because they’ve already made such a name for their brand(s), they can just hit “broadcast” and they get a large audience. But for the smaller names, I pay extra attention to both their successes and their downfalls.
One note that is repeatedly jotted down is that female streamers will definitely benefit more by using a facecam.
How I stream: I think two of the reasons why people enjoy my stream are because I interact with the chat and I am a bit of a theatrical personality. I will occasionally acknowledge the chat at the expense of the progress I’ve made in a game. It makes for funny moments, and I would rather have those than ignore the people who ask questions or want to have conversations. I also get scared and enraged easily. Horror games are the worst for me and the best for my viewers.
When I first started streaming regularly on Twitch, I immediately decided on no facecam. It added a level of stress and paranoia that I did not want to deal with, especially since I wanted to learn about the culture of streaming first. It takes a lot of energy to focus on the game, focus on the chat, AND be entertaining for the chat. Worrying about a facecam was just a different level of multi-tasking I did not want to tackle out of the gate.
In case a reader may not understand this concept, everything I write and will write is my opinion only and my opinion is based off of what I have experienced and/or learned from what other streamers have experienced.
Now that the disclaimer is out of the way…
These are the reasons why I don’t currently use a face cam:
These may seem like very trivial things, but let me break this down for you. Female streamers already get a bad rep because a lot of people seem to focus on the negativity of “cam girls”. There is already a stigma attached to female streamers regardless of the type of streamer they really are. The type of streamers people complain about are the women who wear the lowest cut shirts showing off their best and biggest physical assets, stream gameplay that is previously recorded and focus on everything else besides streaming a video game. That is what I and many other female streamers are compared to off the bat.
In my Dark Souls 3 stream, the one where I had about 66 viewers in the chat, one viewer started off with “you mean there’s a girl gamer out there that isn’t a whore? Awesome.” That’s not a compliment. And it was even worse when he started bringing all that negative stuff of the aforementioned type of streamer into the chat even after mods asked him to tone it down. The whole debate of cam girls existing is something that is currently plaguing the community, and the fact that I stream, means that I am now automatically part of that regardless of my intention to be or not be involved with it..
Do I care about cam girls? Nope. It’s not my thing. They do what they do, and I’m going to do what I do. If people don’t like them, then my advice is to not support them. There are tons of streamers out there. People don’t have to harass each other or bully each other to make a statement. Rather than tearing people down, just use that energy to support and encourage streamers you do like.
Do I care about being compared to them? In a way, yes. Again, I’m just here to play video games and talk to people. If people avoid my channel because they assume that I am a certain type of streamer and they bolt, that’s not really the type of audience I want anyway. I want people who like what I do and genuinely enjoy my streams. If people like my stream, I’m very happy they give me a follow. If they donate to my stream, again that’s something makes me happy. Everything else beyond that is stuff I don’t care to delve into.
What does make up and clothing have to do with anything? Thanks to societal standards, a woman isn’t allowed to just be herself and in her most natural state. Most people would rather pay attention to a woman when she’s completely dolled up and dressed in the most flattering attire possible. Sure, there’s a time and place for everything, but demanding that she must be in her most perfect form for every second of the day in order for her to gain any amount of positive attention? Fuck that. Not everyone thinks this way, but enough people do where it’s an issue that should be addressed.
Can I wear make up? Yes. Do I enjoy it? Sometimes. I want to “look nice” for ME. I don’t want the reason for me looking nice to be making other people happy. I can’t tell you how many times people have commented on my appearance over the years. But I can tell you that not all of those comments were made to uplift my spirits. Some were made with the direct intention of crushing me into the ground. With the veil of anonymity on the internet, it’s that much easier for people to be cruel and mean to others. I’m a stronger person now than I was years ago, but I prefer not to deal with extra layers of stress when I just want to focus on video games. Being called an ugly bitch because I don’t wear red lipstick or wear brand name clothing isn’t grounds for a healthy conversation. Luckily, these are conversations I can now control and if I don’t want to have them, I don’t need to anymore.
Will you ever consider using a facecam? Yes. I’m actually thinking of doing a stream with a facecam when I hit 1000 followers on Twitch. Since being cam-less is the norm for me, I figure I would do something out of the ordinary when I hit a milestone. I would also consider using a facecam when I have special guests on the stream as well. I’m not 100% against the use of a facecam. I just know that right now, I am trying to figure out who I am as a streamer, and I’m discovering what works for me and what doesn’t. I don’t want to use a facecam because it’s labeled as a requirement. Like makeup, I want to do it for me and when I feel comfortable with it. It is entirely possible that I will use a facecam on a full time basis in the future. If that happens, it will be on my terms, no one else’s.
That being said, there are many streamers out there who I enjoy watching. Doesn’t matter if the streamer is a man or a woman and it doesn’t matter to me if they use a facecam or not. If they are entertaining to me, I follow them. I know what I like and I do what I can to support them and their channels. I encourage you to do the same. Find something you like? Support it. Find something you don’t like? Walk away from it. That’s what community building is all about, is it not?
To the GFR Guild: thanks for being here. I am a lucky lady to have such a very awesome community. ❤
and not in the nice Garrus Vakarian kind of way? The Last of Us was very unkind to me.
“Hey, I’m doing a thing!”
“Sorry… I don’t have the money to help you out right now.”
I’ve heard this conversation happen several times since I started paying attention to ways on how to market myself and what I want to represent. I, and many other friends, are journeying down the path of creating things for people’s enjoyment. Specifically with us, the focus is streaming and video production. I tend to pay extra attention to people who use and love Twitch and create content for YouTube and Vine. I also dive into those communities and immerse myself in those cultures to better understand how I fit into them.
Overall, it’s inspiring. And any time I need a creativity boost, I look to my peers. It’s amazing how much encouragement you can receive even if you don’t know someone personally. Their hard work, your understanding of what’s put into these projects not only fuel the desire to make more things, but you want to raise your personal goals and do better every time you release something out into the world.
Another boost in confidence is watching your audience, your community, grow. I’m going to be completely honest here. Numbers matter. Increases and decreases in numbers help creators determine if what they are doing is engaging, entertaining, and tells them if what they are doing is right or if they need to head into another direction.
I have many friends who support what I do, both in moral and monetary (Patreon) support. I am more than humbled that people who enjoy my content would actually donate their own money to help me along my adventures. I will always be grateful for them. Always. I know that many others are not in a position to do so, but that’s okay! I get support from them too. Here is a small breakdown of where my community stands on various social media platforms:
Twitter: 2,353 followers
YouTube: 608 Subscribers
Twitch: 675 followers
Vine: 389 followers / 356,979 loops
Now compared to big names, those numbers are SO SMALL. But, this is my community and it’s growing. And trust me, I’m not going to slow down any time soon. Now this next part of my blog will have some shameless plugs because this post in general is to show people how they can still support their favorite creators even if they aren’t able to support with donations.
Each of these platforms offer some level of engagement from the audience. YouTubers don’t say things like “if you enjoyed this video, give it a like and sub” just to hear their own voices. Views, likes, follows, retweets, any way to show a positive reaction and/or share a creator’s work are all things a supporter can do without diving into their finances. These things may be simple but they are absolutely necessary to a creator’s success. They almost act as guides and milestones to me. Whenever I make something, I get so happy when I see someone like a post or write a positive comment on it. I feel good about what I did, and it encourages me to do more and better.
And I do what I can to pass along news of projects that friends are currently involved in. I’m in the same boat as many others. I may not be able to afford supporting every single one of my friends; however, I can tell others about what they do and whenever they create something, I do my best to read or watch what they post and I give it a like or a share.
“Jackie, here’s five dollars. That stream was awesome.”
“Hilarious video. Thanks for the smile!”
“You’re entertaining. Followed.”
All of these things make my heart so happy. And each of them are important to me because these are coming from people who I affect in some way, and they in turn are bringing good things into my life. That’s more than what I ever thought possible. For those who are currently a part of the GeekyFriedRice Guild, thank you so much. For those just joining in, welcome and high fives all around!
TL;DR If you like what someone is creating. Share their stuff. Like their stuff. Subscribe to their stuff. Follow their stuff. You may not think it’s worth much, but it’s the world to that creator.
Shameless plugs! You can catch me here!
Not so shameless plugs! Here are some of my favorite creators. Please give them a like and a follow as well!
Lozelda – Streamer & YouTuber
Mary McDowell – Streamer
Naomi Chicoine – Arts & Crafts Queen
Audrey Heffers – Author
Shanna Germain – Author & Game Dev
Raf Naps – Streamer & Graphic Designer
I’m doing a thing tomorrow at 6pm-10pm Central. The thing I’m doing is streaming for the ever lovely @Audrey because she and her husband could use a helping hand. Special shoutout to @Raf and @FLYbarger for inviting me to do this with them.
Look. I know there are a lot of charities out there and a lot of people are requesting help for one reason or another, and it’s amazing how helpful and generous people in the GFR Guild and the RT Community are. Let me be one of the first to tell you that Audrey did not ask us to do this for her. We are doing this because she has done so much for this community and she has never asked for anything back. She has stayed up literally for days to make sure any charity streams she organized went smoothly. She coordinated those on her own and she helped raised thousands for other people and other charities. Now that hardships have hit her, we want to help her out however we can.
So what we are asking you guys to do is simply hang out with us tomorrow. Watch us play video games, have us on in the background while you’re doing house stuff, come join us in the chat and mingle, and show the internet why this is the best community.
Ways you can help out:
The entire 24 hour stream will be hosted by twitch.tv/flybarger
You can find my stream at twitch.tv/geekyfriedrice
I will be playing and hopefully completing Dark Souls 3 and I will have a couple of things to give away during my portion of the stream, so please stop by if you can. All deets below!
See you tomorrow! Less than three you!
Every now and then I have some pretty amazing moments (amazing for you guys, not so much for me), and I like to immediately highlight them on my Twitch channel and export to YouTube. I was thinking of ways to group these highlights together since I want them to be separate from the actual highlights I produce for you guys.
Therefore, I have dubbed these Twitch Chibi-lights! If you are pledging on Patreon, please note that you will not be charged for these. Chibi-lights will essentially showcase specific moments from my livestreams that I believe are worthy of archive on the Twitch channel.
I will be creating a separate playlist for these as well on my YouTube channel. That’s it for now!
Less than three you.
I wanted to update everyone on my livestream effort that took place over the weekend of March 5th, 2016. To catch people up to speed, my friend, Shelly, was diagnosed with colon cancer recently. She is scheduled to have her colon removed for further analysis to determine what stage the cancer is. Best case scenario, the cancer stayed within the colon. Worst case, the cancer spread and they begin chemo.
Shelly has suffered illnesses throughout her life due to an almost non existent immune system. She also has Crohns. She has also never asked for help before. This time she and her husband have asked for a helping hand. This is why I was livestreaming Bloodborne. I streamed for as long as I could (came out to be about 17-18 hours over Saturday and Sunday) to raise some donations for their GoFundMe Page. I wrote down the amount that the GoFundMe already had and then I took down the amount at the end of my stream. I also saw a few more donations come in afterward that came from good friends of mine. I am so proud of the GeekyFriedRice community. We have raised approximately $1,930.00 for Shelly and her husband. HOLY FRAGGLESNAPS.
I saw donations come in from everywhere: people who personally knew me, people from mutual communities and some from people who had never met neither myself or Shelly. I am absolutely floored by your kindness and generosity. Shelly also stopped by for a bit on Saturday to talk to the people in the livestream so they could “meet” who they were donating to and it was a surreal experience. At one point in her visit, we refreshed the GoFundMe page and saw the number increase and she just pointed at my computer in surprise. She couldn’t believe how many people donated to help her. And I told her it was worth it, she was worth it, and that I loved her. She gave me a big hug and it was an even sweeter moment because the chat was sharing that with us.
And I will openly admit that I could not have done this without you guys. So many people shared this news and so many people stayed with me while I streamed. I had a good 30-40 viewers at all times during the stream on Saturday. I am humbled. My twitter feed blew up with retweets and supportive replies and responses and I even found support from fellow Twitch streamers who hosted, raided and shared my channel to their audiences. They are all awesome and I encourage you to check them out:
SailorTweek (Thanks for keeping people entertained while I had dinner, lady!)
You guys helped out so much. I will forever be grateful for what you guys have done to help spread the word about Shelly’s story. All of you didn’t have to do anything, but you did and it means so, so much to me and Shelly.
To everyone who shared her page, donated, stayed with us during the stream, kept us fed (shoutout to Jordan Lucas for the pizza support), this weekend was amazing because of you. Shelly has a big surgery on the 18th, so all your well wishes, positive thoughts/prayers are appreciated.
You can catch my livestreams here.
I will continue to stream and bring as much awareness as I can to Shelly’s GoFundMe, but I just wanted to let you all know how special this last weekend was to me. You guys are amazing, and you are the heart of this community. Thank you. From the bottom of our hearts.
Less than three you.
I was going to do a write-up on Bloodborne as I completed the game a couple weeks ago, but since then, I received some distressing news from a very dear friend. Shelly and I have been friends since about 8th grade, and while we drifted apart after graduation, we reconnected about five years ago. I was ecstatic to find that we had similar interests in video games, cosplay and shared a common love of the geeky culture. I was also very saddened to learn that she had many medical ailments including Crohn’s disease, iron deficiency and a very weak immune system. When we would plan some outings, there would be times when she couldn’t make it simply because she was too weak to leave her home. Even through all that, she still managed to help me with a couple video collaborative projects and she made time for me when she could.
She has never complained about her condition. She never blamed anyone else for them and has never projected any negative feelings in general regarding them. With her, it was always about living life to the fullest and never taking anything for granted. She has always placed others before her, and I believe, is the very definition of altruism. Very recently, she found out that she had colon cancer. You know what she did? She shed a ton of tears, she informed family and friends, and then she went out and voted because what happens in her country matters to her. She and her husband are currently traveling to Ohio to seek treatment in the medical facilities there and as of today, they are waiting for results from numerous biopsies to determine if more surgeries are needed or if they will go straight to chemo.
I want to help her. Every year, I participate in video game related charity livestreams to raise donations for sick children and their families. This time, I will be livestreaming for someone close to my heart and I will be featuring her gofundme page on my channel. I don’t have a lot of money, but what I can do is entertain people and bring awareness to what is going on in her life.
Why Bloodborne? As I said, I completed the game not too long ago, and I told myself that I wouldn’t play it again because it was set at a level of difficulty that was pretty devastating to my psyche. I know how that sounds. But when you play something over and over and over again and you fail at it over and over and over again, it begins to affect you. I don’t know how I managed to beat it, but I did and that was quite an accomplishment for me. I was quite proud of that, but I said that I would shelve Bloodborne for the foreseeable future. And then I read about Shelly’s update. As weird as this sounds, Bloodborne seems like the perfect game to play for something like this. No matter how angry and upset I will be at the game, those feelings pale in comparison to what Shelly is experiencing. To me, that is fantastic motivation to livestream as long as I can. If she’s going to battle cancer, then I can take on a video game to help her in her fight.
Thank you to everyone who has shared Shelly’s page and/or donated. Seeing people come together to help her has warmed my heart. There aren’t enough words to express how grateful I am, how thankful she is. I text her a few times over the last couple days, and she cried several times because she is in disbelief that so many people who don’t know her are willing to help and support her. You guys are wonderful. I hope to see you this weekend.
Kicking cancer’s ass livestream starts March 5, 2016 at 9am PST
You can donate here: gofundme.com/shellylarson
If you would like video representation of the stories above:
Random thoughts and memories... sometimes feels.~
This is "And Now Just Listen" featuring Avery, Nick, Justin and Lewes. We talk about games, tech, movies, and get sidetracked a lot. Interested in contributing? Email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Science, writing, reason and stuff
Making a Game Professionally With RPG Marker VX Ace
Just another WordPress.com site
Organize. Play. Create.
Gaming and geek culture website - by women, for women
Video Games, Comics, and Shenanigans.
A light look at heavy shit
The Official Base of Operations for the MECC Initiative.